Jacki Lovi Sundheim: Shooting victim worked with Jewish kids, couples J. – The Jewish News of Northern California

Posted By on July 8, 2022

In the Jewish communities on Chicagos North Shore, Jacki Lovi Sundheim taught preschoolers, and made sure adolescents were ready for their bnai mitzvahs and couples for their wedding ceremonies.

She was murdered by a gunman Monday as she watched a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park. The 63-year-old grew up in the city and had worked for decades at a local synagogue, North Shore Congregation Israel, first as a preschool teacher and later shepherding members through weddings and bar and bat mitzvahs.

Sundheims nephew, Luke Sundheim, was at a different parade in Winnetka, Illinois, a few miles south of Highland Park, when he learned that his aunt had been killed.

Jacki was senselessly gunned down watching a parade that shes been to her entire life, hewrote on Facebook. If you knew Jacki youd know that she was one of the kindest people youd ever meet and she went out of her way to help anyone.

Sundheim was a lifelong member of North Shore Congregation Israel, a Reform synagogue in nearby Glencoe. She spent decades working for the congregation, first as a preschool later and later as the events and bnai mitzvah coordinator, according to a statement released by the synagogues leadership.

There are no words sufficient to express the depth of our grief for Jackis death, the statement continued. Jackis work, kindness and warmth touched us all.

Sundheims role with the congregation brought her into contact with a wide swath of the Jewish community in the North Shore, a stretch of affluent Chicagoland suburbs along Lake Michigan that is home to many of the regions Jews.

Stefanie Greene, a cantor who works for Hillel in Pittsburgh, said that Sundheim had coordinated her wedding at the synagogue.

She did so many things to make everything go smoothly, Greene wrote on Facebook. Most memorably for me, she smiled, fixed my train, and opened the doors for me to walk down the aisle to my beloved.

Another social media user, who goes by Helix, said that Sundheim gifted him the yad, or ritual pointer, that they used in their bar mitzvah ceremony.

It was a difficult time in my childhood and she was always there with smiles, Helix wrote.

Too close to home.Jacki Sundheim is one of the victims in the highland park shooting. She helped coordinate my bar mitzvah and gifted me the yod I used to read the Torah. It was a difficult time in my childhood and she was always there with smiles. HaShem yikom damam.

Helix @ MFF the Sabertooth Fennec (@FenHelix) July 5, 2022

Sundheim had long shown an interest in working with young people. She was part of a program at Highland Park High School where students earned school credit in exchange for caring for nursery school students and working in local grade schools, according to a yearbook from Highland Park High School, which she graduated from in 1976.

Sundheim is survived by her husband, Bruce, a global operations director at CME Group, a derivatives marketplace, and daughter Leah, who graduated from Bradley University in southern Illinois, in 2016. Sundheims sister, Tracy, is an attorney focusing on special education cases in Highland Park.

Members of the family did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday, and North Shore Congregation said its staff were unavailable to speak.

We are fully focused on supporting our community right now, Todd Braman, the synagogues executive director, said in an email.

Sundheim was among six people killed at the Fourth of July parade. An additional two dozen others were shot by a gunman firing from a rooftop along the parade route. The victims were ages 8 to 85. Two were identified as of Tuesday afternoon: Sundheim and Nicholas Toledo, a 76-year-old grandfather. In addition to Sundheim, Israels consul general in Chicago said Tuesday that there could be as many as three additional Jewish victims.

There are currently no indications that this was an antisemitic incident, even though the profile of the attacker might be thought to match such an incident, Yinahm Cohen, the official, told Israels Channel 12.

Police arrested suspected gunman Robert Bobby Crimo III, 22. Martin Blumenthal, director of security for the local Chabad, said Crimo entered Chabad on the last day of Passover and seemed to be sizing up the synagogue.

Nearly $150,000 has been raised onGoFundMe for funeral costs, medical bills and mental health support in response to the shooting.

The world lost a truly special person and Im both furious and incredibly sad that I wont be able to spend any more time with her, Sundheims nephew, Luke Sundheim, wrote on Facebook.

I love America, but this can not keep happening to innocent loving people.

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Jacki Lovi Sundheim: Shooting victim worked with Jewish kids, couples J. - The Jewish News of Northern California

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